Growing up, I remember that one of my favorite playmates was a huge willow tree in our yard.
We had two, one in the front yard and one in the backyard. I spent many happy hours sitting under the branches of that tree that cascaded up to the sky and then down again all around me to the grass below my feet. It seemed to me as a small human that this was my protector, my confidant, my secret hiding place. I swung on her branches and felt solace under the shade of her embrace.
One day the city came and cut down both trees. Apparently, the roots of my grandmother tree were interfering with traffic, cracking the sidewalk, and posing a danger to the drainage system. My parents were not offered a choice. Life changed the day those trees disappeared from my childhood.
Whether we live nestled in the arms of the deep woods or the noise and clamor of the busy city, we are all a product of the earth beneath our feet. Many of our mental and emotional disturbances can be traced back to the time when we lost our sense of connection with Mother Earth.
Looking around us and watching the news, we cannot help but be aware of the effect humanity has had on the big ball floating in the cosmos that we call our home. There has been a surge of calls to help heal our Mother Earth, who is reeling from the damage we have done. However, the truth is, our she has been here for millennia and will be here long past the time when humans graced her skin. The real problem is that we are the ones who suffer from the effects of our thoughtless acts of pillaging the one who provides us with food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, and a place to explore all of the facets of our short lives we live in her embrace.
How can we reconnect to our Earth Mother and find healing and restoration for our souls? How can we offer gratitude for her patience and continuing support?
Here Are 5 Ways to Connect to Mother Earth:
The first step in reconnecting with our Earth Mother is being aware of her presence. It is believed in many earth-based belief systems that everything has its version of consciousness. If you knew that the earth had a consciousness of her own, would you throw trash in her oceans and streams? Would you fill the landfills with items easily recycled or reused? Being aware is the first step in reconnecting with the natural world that sustains you.
I try to make it a habit to thank Mother Earth daily for her gifts. I thank the air for the gift of breath, the earth for providing me with food and sustenance, the sun for giving me warmth and a sense of well being. I thank the plants and animals which I consume to provide me with nutrients to sustain my life. I even thank the stones, crystals, and feathers which I use in my spiritual practice. Everything we see and touch in our lives is in some way a descendant of some ingredient found in our Earth Mother. Every day, make it a habit to thank all the aspects of your life for the gifts they provide.
I was taught by my shamanic mentor to never take anything from Mother Earth without giving a gift in return. This means if I am out in the woods and find a feather or a pretty stone, first of all, I ask its permission before taking it home with me, and then I offer a gift in return. What kind of gifts, you say? Native Americans often offer tobacco or cornmeal as a gift to the Earth, but what if you didn’t bring any of that along with you? If I don’t happen to have anything with me to offer, I offer a piece of my hair or, as a Reiki Master, I will send Reiki energy to the Earth for whatever she needs it for. By offering hair or spit or whatever you have, you are gifting the earth with a piece of your essence. Everything that is a part of you contains your specific energy and vibration. Mother Earth uses everything as fertilizer for what will eventually grow or be birthed out of her womb. Be sure to infuse your gift with love and gratitude.
If you are home, you can always give gifts to the Earth and its creatures. I like to gift the ant kingdom with honey or fruit before requesting that they stay outside my house. If I am requesting good weather for a trip, I often will gift the Earth with an apple, cutting it four times and thanking the four directions for hearing my request. If a friend of yours or family member was always asking for things and never offering gratitude or reciprocating in any way, would you continue to give to them without question?
One thing we can all do is to do our part to keep our Mother Earth clean and healthy. Give to charities that are cleaning up the oceans or take part in one of those adopt-a-highway event. Recycle. Reuse. If you are taking a walk, take a bag with you and pick up someone else’s trash. Buy a reusable straw for those times you are buying drinks out and about.
This is my last suggestion but maybe the most important for your sense of well-being. Go outside. Breathe the air. Feel the rain on your face. Take off your shoes and let your bare feet touch the dirt. Feel the energy of your Earth Mother and reconnect.
Mother Earth has given you many gifts. Today, find a way to give back.